Saturday, February 28, 2009

Edgar and Allie

Last night when we got home from dinner we had two little cuties perched in our front yard. We'd never seen them before and didn't think they were from our neighborhood. We waited to see if they would run back home but instead they ran up our front steps.

The dogs are obviously someone's pets. They seem well cared for, well mannered, and very sweet. Of course, the kids went crazy over them and immediately named them...Edgar and Allie. After checking in our neighborhood and in the one next to us with no luck, Edgar and Allie stayed the the guest room, which seemed appropriate.

Sheryl made a sign and put it on the main street, she entered their info on a couple of websites locally and not a peep all day. Meanwhile, Edgar and Allie enjoyed their day being fawned over by three adoring children.

Our dog Bear has no idea what to think. She's not well with this scenario. She keeps giving me a look like, WHAT THE HECK, PEOPLE?

Tonight I drove down the opposite way on Old Hickory to a couple of houses set back in the woods thinking maybe one of them was their true home. It was like something right out of a horror movie...dark, rainy, terrifying. And I could have sworn I heard underscoring...with ominous tones. The only scary thing I found was a woman with a mullet. But no dog owner.

These dogs are so sweet! They have to belong to someone! We're not sure what to do at this point. We're going to give it another try tomorrow. Until then, Edgar is nestled on Maddie's bed sleeping with her and Allie is snuggled up next to Ella. Bless.

Don't they just look pitiful? We are not...I repeat, NOT keeping them. But we hate to let them go running out onto Old Hickory Blvd where they might get hit. Stay tuned for more of our dog soap opera.

Friday, February 27, 2009


After hearing a very inspiring speaker at one of the Chamber meetings this week speak on "social media" and business, I took the plunge and joined Twitter. I have to say, although some people poke fun at me for the amount of social media I am already a part of, the truth is, I can only handle so much. For instance, Facebook vs. Myspace...I can't do both. I like Facebook because it seems less trashy. I enjoy catching up with friends and it has been a TREMENDOUS tool for me professionally in casting and communicating with our Gary Musick performers.

I confess, Twitter has been something I've resisted. I don't totally get the concept. I mean, I GET it, I just don't appreciate it yet. As the speaker (David Bullock) talked about Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and other things I hadn't even heard of, his focus was on business marketing and development. Basically, his premise is...if you're not using those forms you're already miles behind the curve. For me, I get it with Facebook and see how he's TOTALLY right. But, I don't get Twitter yet. In fact, I confess that it kind of bugs me. Our business development guy here at Gary Musick asked me why it did and it was hard to formulate a coherent answer.

for those of you out there who Twitter...can you help me understand the benefits personally and professionally? I'd love some feedback. And, by the way, my Twitter name is brandonsthomas

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dove Award Nomination!

I am so excited to share with you some great news! Today the nominations were announced for the 40th annual Dove Awards. "All God's Animals" was nominated for Children's Album of the Year! It's a children's record recorded by TJ McCloud and produced by Eric Wyse and me. TJ wrote most of the songs on the album. Eric and I co-wrote at least one. It's a huge honor for TJ and for all of us. We're so excited!

Results will be announced live at the Dove Awards on April 23rd! GO TJ!

Here is the link to all the nominees... we're about 2/3 down the page under Children's Music Album (right after Instrumental Album of the Year which also happens to have a Martingale hymns record by LaDonna Taylor that Sheryl and I sang on.)

Thanks for sharing in our joy! Congrats to TJ, Eric, and everyone involved!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Last weekend we went to Houston to sing at the Bammel Road Church (where Sheryl's brother and his family go). It was a real treat for us because Jonathan Ross is on staff there and he is a dear friend. He preached Sunday and did a fantastic job!

Jonathan and me


We had some great visit time with Chuck, Laura, Taylor and Mason. It was really fun to be in their new house. As an added bonus, Cindy (Sheryl's sister) and her family and Kevin (Sheryl's brother) came over. Pictured above is my niece Hailey holding baby Gracie. Kiki and Kevin (we have 2 Kevins in our fam) came with us and brought Gracie. We had a blast staying at Chuck and Laura's!

Kevin and Amanda

Kiki (with Justin in the background) entertains the people in the Suburban with some colorful story.

It was a great weekend. Thank you to all the wonderful people at Bammel for their amazing hospitality. It was a pleasure getting to know all of you.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cast of the NCL Jade--Smokey Joe's Cafe

The cast of the NCL Jade is here and working so hard. The shows on the Jade are a little bit different from our other ships. The Jade has "book" other words, fuller versions of the original productions. Smokey Joe's Cafe, The World Goes 'Round, Shout (The Mod Musical), and an original show called "Showdown" which is basically a knock-off of American Idol where the audience gets to vote contestants off.

Today the Jade cast did a run-through of Smokey Joe's Cafe. It was really awesome. I wish you could all go out to the Jade to see these shows. I'm going to upload some clips here in show order. For those of you who have seen Smokey Joe's, you know what a fun show it is. I saw it in NYC back in the 90's and loved it.

These clips will give you little snippets of the show from beginning to end to give you a feel for what it's like. There are no tracked vocals OR instruments. My buddy, Steve Kummer, is doing an awesome job playing the keys all the way through this run. He's an amazing guy and has done a fantastic job with this cast. (trivia moment...Steve also played keyboards on the soundtrack to High School Musical)

Kudos to the Jade cast and to all those who have worked so hard to get this cast ready!

"In the Neighborhood"

"Young Blood"


"Keep On Rollin"

"Kansas City" part one

"Kansas City" part two

"Poison Ivy"

"Don Juan" ...Adrienne does such a great job in this cast. I was excited to learn that she had been in The Lion King with my buddy, Ty. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll remember Ty. He's a great guy. I love what a small world it can be!

"I Keep Forgettin'"

"On Broadway"

"D. W. Washburn"


"Pearl's a Singer"

"Teach Me How To Shimmy"

"You're the Boss"

"Hound Dog"

"I'm a Woman"

"In the Neighborhood" reprise

"Stand By Me" (finale) I love how this song builds! It's about a 2 1/2 minute clip.

This cast has a couple of weeks left to rehearse and get the other shows ready. They're all working so hard. Thanks for a great show, guys! You're gonna knock 'em dead out there!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Cydcor Dallas

I just returned from Dallas where I assisted Gary with the Cydcor show. We used our new LED screen surrounds and they looked great! One of the great things about LED lighting is that it is a very "green" option which appeals to more and more companies these days.

Here are some pictures of the business meeting...

After the business meeting we had the afternoon to turn the banquet space into a Mardi Gras party. It looked great! There were also 3 huge inflatable games, a dunk tank, and a green-screen production booth where groups could make their own music videos. Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun.

After I got home yesterday I was so filled with euphoria over the weather that the kids and I jumped out on the trampoline for about an hour. It was fun! I am SO ready for Spring!!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

More Heart Gala

Here are a few more pictures from the Heart Gala last weekend thanks to Holly Whaley.

Guests were greeted warmly as they came in to register

The band, "1964" was AWESOME!

Mary is rockin' it.

Our friend Elle did flowers for the event. She did a great job!

Gary and I pose here with Holly Whaley. We love Holly!

I thought the tables looked especially cool. Holly picked out the table linens and they looked great!

Jonathan, Gary and I man the production booth during the auction

As you can see here-the crowd loved the after party with the band!

Now--to randomly change the subject...American Idol anyone?? Did you see how they made Paula's eyes glow red last night? Maddie basically freaked out over it...that really was kind of freaky. I have to give it to her. Any favorites so far?

Monday, February 02, 2009

2009 Nashville Heart Gala "All You Need Is Love"

As I mentioned last week, we've been in major planning for the Heart Gala at the Nashville Schermerhorn Symphony Center last Saturday. Months and months of planning went in to make this a special night and to raise money for the American Heart Association. It was a terrific success!

Here are some pictures to chronicle the day...

Preparations began early Saturday morning as we began to build the set and prepare the room

stage set goes up

Volunteers word hard to get the auction items in place

Heart Gala logo

Valet Area

Guests begin to time!

Gabe Dixon, a popular local artist, played instrumental Beatles tunes in the main lobby as guests walked in


West Lobby

The "!964" band did sound check and was ready to go!

Michelle Moschel (VP of the AHA for Middle Tennessee) kicked off the night

Heart Gala co-chairs welcome everyone

After dinner there was a late night party where the band played and everyone danced the night away!

My lovely go-go dancers! (Mary Roberts and Alina Williams) They are such sweethearts and did an awesome job Saturday night. If you remember last year when I did the Chinese Dragon show in Atlanta, Alina was one of my dancers there. She is a Radio City Rockette but is based out of Nashville. She's worked ships for us in the past. Mary was a new find and a great dancer. She's off to do a contract for Holland America but hopefully we'll be seeing her again!

Go Alina!

Everyone had such a blast dancing! Our buddies, Mark and Holly Whaley were the life of the party. Holly and I work together a lot on different events. We really love them!

We had such a great time!

Alina, Mary and me

Enjoy these fun clips!

This clip....priceless. Gary...I'm thinkin' definite blackmail.

All in all it was a fantastic night! Definitely one of the coolest events I've gotten to work on. The band was incredible and everyone seemed to have a great time. Thank you, Alyson, Holly, and the rest of the gang at the AHA. Looking forward to working with you all again!